Some changes have occurred in the world of online maps since I last wrote about what’s available.
Ask.com used to be the only mapping service with an option for walking directions. They eliminated that when they migrated their map to use Microsoft’s Virtual Earth, which provides only driving directions.
While Ask.com removed the walking feature, Google enabled walking directions, which ignores the direction of one way streets.
While Google Maps doesn’t currently know about bike paths or pedestrian bridges, I’m excited to see this tidbit from the Google developers: “We’re working on collecting new data on pedestrian pathways….” Could a “bike there” option be far away.
The only nod to bike-friendliness from Mapquest comes in the form of an “Avoid Highways” feature. A MapQuest developer I know who’s an avid cyclist has lobbied her company for years to provide bike friendly features to their product, to no avail.
While Yahoo Maps doesn’t currently offer an “avoid highways” option, I’m told this is in the works. But check out what Yahoo! India maps offers to users — a “Biking Directions” button!